Board Appoints Dr. Michael D. Anthony as the 16th President of Prairie State College [10/01/2021]
The Prairie State College (PSC) Board of Trustees has appointed Michael D. Anthony, Ph.D., to serve as the college’s 16th president. The announcement was made at a special board meeting held on Thursday, Sept. 30. Dr. Anthony currently serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at PSC. He will start his new role as PSC president on Oct. 15, 2021. Dr. Anthony will replace Dr. Thomas Saban, who has served as interim president since March 2020.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve in such a prestigious and important role at the college,” said Dr. Anthony. “I am looking forward to solidifying and building relationships with our community and working alongside our dedicated faculty, staff, and colleagues.”
Dr. Anthony says his first goal as the college president is to listen and strengthen internal and external relationships.
“From what I heard through the search process, and in my observations being at the institution for two years, I want the college community to build its trust with one another and with the communities we serve. I want to first and foremost listen to those inside the college -- about what they want and need to be successful -- particularly in this ongoing pandemic environment. I also want to do the same thing with our external partners. I think there are employers, faith-based communities, and non-profit organizations, all of which have a stake in the college, who need to be heard,” says Dr. Anthony.
He says that getting to know who those people are and spending time with them is one of his main priorities. Dr. Anthony says he plans to immediately launch a comprehensive listening tour (internal and external) and continue through the beginning of the spring semester.
PSC Board Chairman Dr. Ronnie White says this appointment comes after an expedient yet rigorous, inclusive, participatory, and transparent search.
“The search committee did an exceptional job identifying the best candidate for president," said Dr. White. "Dr. Anthony is highly qualified and possesses the experience and the internal knowledge and goals to move Prairie State College forward. We feel he will serve College District 515 with compassion, expertise, and heart. He is a mission-driven leader, and we look forward to supporting Dr. Anthony as president of this great institution.”
Dr. Anthony is the first African American to hold the president position in the history of the college, and he says it feels incredible to be the first person of color to serve in this role.
“To be the first black male to hold this role presents a unique opportunity to help reconnect the people of this community -- not only because of my race but because of my upbringing and cultural norms and through my experiences and my values," said Dr. Anthony. “What excites me most is knowing that together we can create new changes, new opportunities, new lives for people who live here and really transform our community.”
Dr. Anthony is a first-generation college graduate raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has 18 years of experience in higher education and has been involved nationally within the student affairs profession since the start of his career. Dr. Anthony previously served as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, MN. He was the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at Oakton Community College and inaugural Director of the Cultural Center at the University of Louisville, where he served in the office of the provost.
Dr. Anthony sits on the Board of Directors for New Star in Chicago Heights, IL, and the Prairie State College Foundation.
He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, a masters of arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville, and a bachelor's degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Anthony currently resides in Matteson, Illinois, and is the proud father of his daughter, 12-year-old Katharine Anthony.
Members of the presidential search and screening committee included Pat Trost, Chief of Staff, Prairie State College; Dr. Charmaine Sevier, Executive Director of Human Resources, Prairie State College; Elighie Wilson, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Prairie State College; Thomas Nicholas, Faculty Union President, Prairie State College; Cheron Ricks - Support Staff Union President, Prairie State College; Cydney Williams – Adjunct Faculty Union President, Prairie State College; Robert Wald – Police Officers Union President, Prairie State College; Dr. Tiffany Brewer – Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Prairie State College; Mary Fitzpatrick – Manager of Career Services, Prairie State College; Emmanuel Lopez – Recruiting Specialist, Governors State University; David Lockman – Consultant, Olympia Fields; Dr. Johnnie Thomas – Superintendent, Rich School District 227; Joanna Panici Esq. – Attorney, Chicago Heights; and Dr. Cornel Darden – President, Southland Black Chamber of Commerce.
The presidential contract will be approved at the monthly regular board meeting, held on Tuesday, Oct. 26.